Migration in numbers

Heading in the right direction

These infographics show some positive developments in the migration field – and where the international community has scope for creative action.

Tobias Moorstedt
Ole Häntzschel
May 15, 2022

How protecting the climate can save somebody’s homeland

In the coming years, the effects of climate change, including droughts, floods and rising sea levels, will force many people to leave their homes, at least temporarily. In 2021 alone, 30 million people had to flee within their country related to weather-related natural disasters. According to the World Bank study Groundswell, the number of internal migrants in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America combined could rise to a total of 143 million by 2050 – 86 million of them on the African continent alone. But it doesn't have to be that way. According to the study, the number of climate-induced internal migrants could be reduced by up to 80 percent through effective climate protection measures. This is why the Robert Bosch Stiftung is supporting the development of sustainable, far-sighted solutions for climate-induced migration that better protect those affected, especially in those places where climate change is severely impacting people’s lives.

Greater freedom of travel in Africa

The ability of people to move freely and easily within a given region of the world, can lead to a positive impact on the economic opportunity or even greater cohesion between states of that region. For people who have become accustomed to a life without borders, like in Europe, this freedom of movement may be a given fact of life, but for many people it is not – and this is particularly true for the the Global South. The chart above shows the so-called Passport Index of selected African states.

While citizens of the Seychelles, for example, can enter 135 countries without a visa or with similarly uncomplicated procedures such as an e-visa or visa on arrival, people from Kenya (68) or Niger (59) have far fewer options. By comparison, people with German passports can enter 164 countries without any hurdles. On the African continent, however, freedom of travel for Africans has increased in recent years. The Seychelles, Benin and Gambia are not requiring visas for citizens of other African countries, and a quarter of African countries no longer require visas from citizens of some or all countries on the continent in 2021 – a slight upward trend.

Another example of progress: In 2016, only nine African countries offered e-visas whereas by 2021, 24 countries did so. The use of digital processes can simplify travel and transnational work. However, the use of digital technologies also poses certain risks, for example related to data protection and other ethical issues. This is why the Robert Bosch Stiftung supports projects that address the role of digital technology in migration policy and practice.

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African Development Group: Africa Visa Openness Report 2021
African Development Group: Africa Visa Openess Report 2017
African Development Group: Africa Visa Openness Report 2018

How migrants support their homelands’ economies

When people leave their homeland, it is often not a goodbye forever. On the contrary, the bonds with the region they originated from remain strong, economic ties continue. Many migrants from middle- and low-income countries provide financial support to their families and friends back home. According to the World Migration Report, these remittances now account for the largest proportion of external money flowing into these countries – ahead of development aid.

Even during the Covid-19 pandemic when global supply chains collapsed and economic problems weighed on people around the world, total remittances increased after an initial slump. To better understand these and other connecting factors regarding global migration, the Robert Bosch Stiftung supports the publication of reports such as the World Migration Report, which provides important data and analysis.

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Trans-continental cities’ platform for better migration policies

Three out of five migrants worldwide live in cities. Communication between mayors as well as partnerships between cities internationally help in developing and implementing innovative ideas practically at the local level, and shape international politics as well. This is why the Robert Bosch Stiftung supports exchanges between European and African mayors from cities including Accra, Hamburg, Kampala, or Milan.

The chart shows which cities are currently part of this exchange, the size of the respective populations, and the proportion of migrants. In order to strengthen cities as important actors in global migration policy, the Robert Bosch Stiftung also supports the Mayors Migration Council, an initiative supported by mayors for cities that want to get involved in regional and international debates on migration, the protection of refugees, and integration.

How pilot projects enabling more humane immigration

In dozens of countries around the world, migrants with unclear residence status are detained upon arrival, often under inhumane conditions. Three pilot projects initiated by the European Alternatives to Detention Network show that there are alternatives to immigration detention. In Cyprus, Bulgaria and Poland, social workers supported a total of 126 migrants and refugees over the course of several years to help them clarify their residence status and overcome other challenges.

As a result, not only the wellbeing of participants was better in comparison to standard procedures, but they were also able to take informed decisions about their situation. According to the project report, solutions as tested in Poland, Bulgaria and Cyprus are also more efficient and significantly less costly than detention. The Robert Bosch Stiftung supports the International Detention Coalition that coordinates the network and advocates human rights-based alternatives to detention for migrants and refugees worldwide. 

Infografik-Migration-Pilot projects-EN
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National Immigration Forum
European Programme for Integration and Migration: Alternatives to detention: building an culture of cooperation, p. 17

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